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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby SJ » Fri May 03, 2013 10:06 pm

I'm so glad to hear that everyone had a great time and thanks to Catrin for the daily updates. Apart from making me very jealous, it was great to read about all your adventures. RamblingJohn your description of the trip to Ynys Enlli was great and sounds like the perfect end to a great week.

RamblingJohn wrote:Was i pleased with my Welsh, not really, would i recommend people go, an enormous yes.


You won't feel pleased with your Welsh now, I wasn't after my first bootcamp. Wait until you've had a week or so to get over the shock of Bootcamp. Its all the complements on your Welsh that you'll receive at the next meet-up that will make you realised the significant difference Bootcamp has made to your Welsh. :D
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Catrin Lliar » Sat May 04, 2013 7:04 am

Diolch yn fawr SJ for your kind words regarding my updates. :smile:

John, thank you so much for your personal description and opinion of the week, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was a real pleasure to meet you John, my only regret is that we didn't get more time to chat and get to know each other! I also have a real interest in birds and would have loved to chat birds with you. Please heed SJ's comment about improvement to your Welsh taking time to show itself, but if it's any consolation I think you did very well and there was certainly a difference between John day one and John day six! :wink:

I'm so sorry we missed you on the last morning, but I'm sure we'll get a chance to meet again soon - maybe in the Eisteddfod?

Jan, so sad to think of you all alone in Caergybi! :cry: I hope you had a peaceful night and have a good sailing today. Looking forward to reading your full account of the week and seeing all your wonderful photos up on here when you have time to do so. X

Geraint... words fail me! Your personal journey last week has been massive in more ways than one. I also look forward to reading your personal account of the week.

Aran is still aghast at how I managed to hold it together yesterday morning during goodbyes, I told him it was a combination of two things - because (being a woman) I'd had more practice at having to hold it together and because I also had so much joy in my heart having seen you all have such a great week. But walking around the house on my own after you all left, looking at all the empty beds and finding the very generous bag of delicious and beautiful gifts you had left for us as well as the card... Well let's say me and my shadow shared a few delayed tears.

Well, it rained overnight in Pen Llŷn and I woke this morning to a grey, breezy view over Abersoch from the landing window. Angharad is absolutely full of cold and cough and feeling quite poorly, so I hope that none of you have taken one of the many Jones' festering viruses home with you.

I will be hooked to this thread for the rest of the week, looking forward to reading all your accounts. I am also going to send you all a PM with the new ideas and improvements I have thought of, asking you kindly to read them and give your opinion and if you have any other thoughts and ideas pleaswe PM me - I will be very grateful!
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby jstetson » Sat May 04, 2013 7:37 am

Hello from the Stena Line ferry!

I took a taxi to the ferry port this morning. When I got in, I noticed that the driver had Radio Cymru on in the car, so when he got behind the wheel, I greeted him with a cheery "Bore da!" His face -- priceless! We nattered happily the whole way to the port. I got a complement on my Welsh, and the usual, "Better than some that live here..." I think I made his day. He certainly made mine. :D
Feel free to correct my Welsh, os gwelwch yn dda.
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Maynard » Sat May 04, 2013 9:59 am

Hi everyone,
I've basically just got up made coffee and toast, got back into bed an signed into SSIW. I've downloaded my photo's and relived some of the hi-lites of what was to me one of the most fantastic weeks of my entire life. On the way home I dropped Jan off at Bangor station and had lunch at a a fabulous welsh cafe called 'Ty Golchi'. Then i went to Dinbych and collected information about Eisteddfod accomodation from the library. Afterwards i went to a cafe, and then to Siop Clwyd where i told the lovely lady there all about the fabulous week I'd had and yes.. i bought a CD of Meinir Gwilyn. I didn't speak any English ( apart from one tiny incident at the car park). I visited one of my sisters ( come on John, talk to me in Welsh) and my mam and dad in Mansfield Woodhouse before eventually arriving home at 2300 hours. (oh and i popped into my friends to chat and pet my favourite dog).

I can't say how much I look up to Catrin and Aran for all they do. On the final evening Catrin shared with us their personal journey into founding SSIW. I looked around the table and everyone was rooted, you could hear a pin drop.

The week flew... Saturday arrived and then it was Thursday night, you know the feeling? As for the weather well, how do you explain a heat wave at the start of May in a place that is probably one of the wettest places in Europe? I'm a religious sort of person ( yes I have a Welsh Bible) and yes Louis I know we shared some jokes about your influence in the weather but .. it did make me think lol.

Things I liked-- everything
Things I didn't like-- nothing
Would you recommend the experience to anyone--yes
is it worth learning Welsh-- I'm not going to say... Do you want to change the way you think and live? I did !

This picture sums up what it means to be a Welsh speaker...

IMG_1891.JPG
IMG_1891.JPG (85.14 KiB) Viewed 2930 times
This is Grunt on Tre'r Ceiri..
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skype ..maynard.archer - croeso i siarad !
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby youngblandford » Sat May 04, 2013 10:13 am

Nowr te! What a fantastic week.

My bootcamp started a day earlier as Susanna came to stay at mine the night before, before an early start to meet Alison and Geriant in Chester. This was my first ever trip to North Wales so I was really looking forward to seeing a part of my country which I had heard so much about, but never seen.

We took the scenic route although I nodded off just before Porthmadog :oops: but once we got to Sarn I was blown away! The house was gorgeous and the surrounds were so peacefully quiet. Something I don't get to experience in Manchester city centre. (A couple of weeks ago the city was buzzing to the sound of 10,000 Justin Bieber fans standing under my balcony).

After 3 helpings of Catrin's lasange (ok, maybe 4) my Welsh was flooding back. Then there was cake. Oh boy, there was cake. Fawr is too small a word to describe it. :clap:

The week proved to be a busy, full to the brim, week. But some of the highlights for me were:

Aran explaining word by word the meaning of "All through the night" to me, which if I remember correctly is about the stars having a peek through the curtains while you get changed.

Encouraging Geriant to be like John Lennon and "give peas a chance".

Talking about tv show "Meddyg Pwy".

Evening walks around Sarn, where John y Siarad, John y Canu and I were lucky enough to hear the birdsong of a Bronwen Brown.

An impromptu seance for a thirty ghost.

Shu shu mu shu.

Low point:

Discovering the truth behind the story of Beddgelet. What will Aran do next? Kick my sand castle over? :lol:


It really has felt like I've been on holiday to the other side of the world, its easy to forget the magical places that exist in the UK and the Llŷn is one of those. To experience it in welsh, doubly so.

And to end the week Jen stayed at mine where we had a laugh over all the great experiences of the week until seeing her off this morning at Manchester Piccadilly.

Diolch yn Fawr Aran, Catrin and all the bootcampers. Can't wait for Bootcamp Patagonia!!
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Catrin Lliar » Sat May 04, 2013 5:09 pm

TygerC wrote:I'm back at Helsinki. I'll try to write something on the weekend.


Ah I missed this! Glad to see you are back safely Susanna, looking forward to reading all about your personal experience! :)

John, diolch i ti, your post brought tears to my eyes - it was a real pleasure, you are a true gent sir.

Ian, what can I say... that just made me giggle out loud. So honoured to have finally spent a Bootcamp in the company of the infamous YoungBlandford - ti'n seren! :star:
Northern course female voice. Raised in Pen Llŷn, fled when 18. Spent my 20s discovering the wider world. A qualified teacher (English & art), worked in marketing with small local businesses - gave it all up to become a Mam! A creative soul who inherited my family's artistic gene, love drawing, being behind the lens of a camera and being creative with food. Movies, red wine, dark chocolate help me relax. Always here to help!
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Catrin Lliar » Sat May 04, 2013 9:45 pm

Where are you by now Jan? When do you fly back to Boston?
Northern course female voice. Raised in Pen Llŷn, fled when 18. Spent my 20s discovering the wider world. A qualified teacher (English & art), worked in marketing with small local businesses - gave it all up to become a Mam! A creative soul who inherited my family's artistic gene, love drawing, being behind the lens of a camera and being creative with food. Movies, red wine, dark chocolate help me relax. Always here to help!
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby jstetson » Sat May 04, 2013 10:07 pm

Catrin Lliar wrote:Where are you by now Jan? When do you fly back to Boston?

Spending the night in a very comfy hotel in Dublin, having taken one last turn through the amazing National Archaeology Museum. Bus to the airport tomorrow, and in the air at 4:15.

Thanks to the miracle of the internet, I've been in touch with folks at home, and of course all of you on the forum. In good humor and looking forward to landing in Boston. :D
Feel free to correct my Welsh, os gwelwch yn dda.
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Atomic Newt » Sun May 05, 2013 1:02 am

Helo Pawb!Just a quick note to let you know I'm *finally* back at home after an exhausting journey home! Image I won't say much at the moment, but I look forward to sharing more in a day or two, when I've recuperated! Suffice it to say that Bootcamp was AMAZING and I am so very glad I overcame my fear and loathing of international travel YET AGAIN for bootcamp--it was MORE than worth it!! Now I'm off to spend some time with my poor neglected Joe ! Image
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
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Re: Luxury Bootcamp on Llŷn 26/04/13 All the Gossip!

Postby Gruntius » Sun May 05, 2013 7:03 am

Bore da pawb, I'm not really good at writing so I'll just try to give a brief personal account as others have given some amazing write-ups before me.

Friday: After a tearful goodbye from my family I headed to Chester to pick up Alison, Ian and Susanna then started on our chatty 3 hour uneventful drive with just a brief stop for petrol and supplies in Porthmadog on the way. Aran was at the house already, trying out the trampoline. The place was stunning with a really modern feel and a hewge wooden table taking pride of place, more than big enough to fit us all around. What a great start. Ian and I flipped a coin for the single bedroom and we came to a "swap halfway through the week" sort of deal. Everyone eventually arrived with Deb pulling up the rear with an adventure already under her belt and my first new word of the week ... ysgubor = barn. Anyway ... Aran gives the speech and we're under way. Catrin provided an amazing lasagne (you've read "lasagne-gate") followed by a lemon drizzle cake so large that it had smaller cakes orbiting it, the 12 of us in that room got through just about half of it. I think John Y Caru finished the rest off over the course of the next 4 days. :lol: There were a lot of really confident Welsh speakers around that table already and I quietly panicked a wee bit. :roll: Not much sleep for me that night (or any night), my head was spinning with all sorts of emotions.

Saturday: Our first task was to get to Pwllheli and find the Taro Teg cafe where Aran was waiting, after a bit of a relaxing chat we headed out on to the streets in pairs to have a chat with some locals about where to go if the weather turns bad. I ventured out with Jan and was happy about that when I found out just how relaxed and easy her Welsh sounded, even if we did get our ears bent with a rather chatty, bearded lady. Off to find the Penlan Fawr pub for dinner (I resisted the pis slwj) where we met up with Kim. From there we went to visit Llanaelhaearn Church, and walked along a beach to the Ty Coch Inn for a drink but, to be honest, after Pwllheli all the days started to blur together as my Welsh was forcing me to over think everything. :roll:

Sunday: More relaxing, starting with a Sunday lunch at midday where Ian scrounged extra food off other people's plates. Off to a local gallery for another task, this time asking one of the staff a question about the building or piece of art. In the cafe, Ian and Jen spoke to a ghost about the whereabouts of her coffee, or something. I didn't really catch much of it as I was tackling a rather large piece of Banoffee Pie. We then nipped into Pwllheli for some supplies and back to base for a lazy evening.

Monday: A trip to Pant Du Gwinllan (?) to see how they grow the fruit for poisonous wine was a great success, made even more special with the addition of Nia Parry. Her enthusiasm towards us "learners" was captivating, what a special lady she is. On then to Caernarfon for a "do what you like" afternoon. I chose to head into the castle with Deb, Susanna and Jen but Deb didn't really look comfortable with heights and after one tower Jen couldn't be bothered. :shock: A swift drink outside the Angelsea and we were on our way back through the majestic scenery of Snowdonia. When we got back Ian and I swapped bedrooms, I'd really hoped he'd forgot. Really rubbish night's sleep listening to the "Johns-Choir" of snoring, farting and coughing. :lol: No wonder Ian was so eager to swap! :roll:

Tuesday: Cricieth today and started off with a snack in Cadwalader's and buying an ice-cream for the short walk up to the Castle (Banoffee sundae). This is a great Castle with incredible views, get there if you can, it's a family favourite of ours. After going to the wrong beach (!) we met with Aran, Catrin and the kids and headed off to Llanystumdwy where we had the option of the David Lloyd George museum or just relaxing around the village or along the river. Dinner was in the Plu, a lovely Welsh pub, where the highlight for me was watching Catrin act out the Welsh word for naughty. :shock: A great evening in a great location. A better sleep tonight on the sofa wearing earplugs. Result.

Wednesday: To start today we went to Nant Gwtheyrn for lunch and was totally blown away by the amazing scenery on the way down. After meeting up with some other people (Kim was one but, sorry, other names escape me, Kim's mate was such a fast talker that I swear he was just making vowel sounds on times!) we headed out on the way to Tre'r Ceiri and probably the highlight of my week. I hope I'm not being patronising but Jan was an absolute hero. This was not easy going but reaching the summit was so rewarding, the views on this clear day were absolutely breathtaking. Almost back down and I received a text picture off my wife of my children and got a little emotional so need to thank Jen for her support. We then headed into Pwllheli to pick up a take-away (the only time I spoke a sentence of English in the whole trip :cry: ). What an amazing day.

Thursday: Ynys Enlli today, personally a wee bit of a comedown for me. I know there's a lot of history on the island but, I don't know, it just seemed to be a place for a nice walk. On the boat ride on the way back John Y Caru was visibly excited by all the sea birds on and around the cliffs, maybe his highlight. :wink: A bit of a weird evening knowing it was the last but again some good conversations with Aran about SSiW among other things, very fitting.

Friday: A very subdued morning. Aran and Catrin arrived and it all got very serious with a few tears off Aran (and others) while he brought this incredible week to a close. Cars were packed and we said our goodbyes. I have to apologise to Catrin for leaving her with a wet shoulder, I really didn't want to let go! :roll: And that was it ... apart from the drive home.

Trace told me that on Friday night that I was talking in my sleep, something I only do when I'm really tired ... but this time it was in Welsh! :lol: :shock:

All that's left is an apology for moping around on times, this really was such an intense week.

Favourite new word of the week ... SBONCEN


Oh, before I go ... :penblwydd: A massive happy birthday to Jen for today.


Did I say brief? :roll:
Doing the Gog thingy.

"The_drummist" on Skype if you fancy a chat.

A little bit of my past life ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXEhh2dCQYg
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